Coding of evidentials (Synja Khanty)

EvidParad: Evidentiality is a feature of the verbal paradigm.

EvidMix: Evidentiality is marked by the use of a combination of the strategies available.

In Synja Khanty, evidentiality is coded by participle constructions, which in the active voice take personal suffixes, but they are not marked for person in the passive voice (Nikolaeva 1999a, 1999b, Csepregi 2014b, 2014c):


present tense

-t- +Vx

past tense

-m + Vx


present tense


past tense


(based on Nikolaeva 1999b)

(1) luw man-t-al.

(s)he go-ev.prs-3sg

‘It seems (s)he is going.’ (Nikolaeva 1999a: 88)

(2) astakan sukali-m-al.

glass break-ev.pst-3sg

‘I think/it seems that the glass is broken.’ (S. O.)

(3) matti ot astakan sukat-m-al.

somebody thing glass break(tr)-ev.pst-3sg

‘As far as I know, somebody broke the glass.’ (S. O.)

(4) jɔ̄x xɔ̄t wēr-m-el.

people house make-ev.pst-3pl

‘It seems that the people build a house.’ (S. O.)

(5) tuta matti ot jax-m-al.

there somebody thing go-ev.pst-3sg

‘It seems somebody has been there.’ (S. O.)

Only indirect evidentiality is marked morphologically (as part of the verbal conjugation paradigm) in Synja Khanty. The particles matti ‘it is said so’, śi ēwǝlt ‘it seems’ (Nikolaeva 1999a: 93), matti ot ‘something, so to say’ may also be used in the same function alongside the morphological markers. The northern Khanty dialects differentiate between a) auditory, b) resultative, c) inferential and d) mirative evidentials (Nikolaeva 1999a: 89‒94, Csepregi 2014c 101‒102). The evidentially marked verb form is the last element of the clause (Nikolaeva 1999a), and it is interpreted as a finite form (in the active voice).


Nikolett F. Gulyás